Below is an overview of the most notable gear I bring on bikepacking trips. I left out the more personal items like clothing and toiletries since those will be highly personal and unique to every person and rider.

Bike & Components

After some extensive research, I decided I would use a Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 (2020) as my primary bikepacking bike. I opted for the Trek Checkpoint because of its comparably reasonable price point, aluminum (and therefor rather lightweight) frame, decent tire clearance (for up to 45mm) and the Shimano 105 drivetrain to ensure reliable shifting quality. The 2021 models come with the Shimano GRX groupset, specifically tailored to gravel riding.

Instead of the stock wheels, I went for Whisky No.9 30W rims for weight considerations and to accommodate wider tires. The front wheel was built with a SONdelux Dynamo Hub to generate electricity while riding and paired with the Sinewave Cycles Revolution.

Tires

I wanted to optimize for all sorts of different terrains I could encounter while bikepacking, and my local bike shop recommended the WTB Riddler 700x45c (tubeless) for that purpose. My thinking was that the smoother center line would provide reduced rolling resistance on tarmac, but the wider profile and knobs on the sides decent traction on dirt and gravel roads. While the front tire lasted for close to 5000km, the rear tire had to be replaced about halfway through my ride through New Zealand.

At that point, I switched to Vittoria Terreno Dry 38c (tubeless). These were praised by a bike store in New Zealand, because of the addition of graphene improving durability and performance. I used them in the rear and had a great experience with them for the rest of New Zealand, my ride in Western Australia, and in Vietnam.

Lacking other options, I swapped the Vittoria for a Schwalbe G-One Allround in Taiwan, again for the rear tire. The small knobs provided decent grip on various surfaces, however after putting them to the test in Japan, Norway, Switzerland, and Austria, the knobs along the center were eventually worn down.

The Bontrager GR1 Team Issue (tubeless) provided a similar profile to the Schwalbe and used it for trips in Italy and Oman.

Halfway through my trip in South Africa, I encountered some rough and sharp gravel climbing up the switchbacks to Rooibergpass, which the Bontrager tire did not handle too well. I switched to Panaracer GravelKing SK Plus, 700×43 (tubeless), the GravelKing being one of the most popular tires in the gravel riding community. The Panaracer so far seems to possess an almost ideal combination of versatility and durability for medium to long bikepacking adventures.

Luggage/Storage

UK-based Apidura was one of the first companies producing bikepacking bags and is a well-trusted brand in the communities of bikepackers and ultradistance racers. I ended purchasing various luggage items from them, aiming to maximize available space. The packs and accessories I use are:

Attempting to optimize frame space even further, I use additional items for storage and space optimization:

Sleeping

For weight and space consideration, the lighter the sleeping gear is and the smaller it packs, the better. Individual needs, especially with regards to tent size and warmth requirements, will dictate what to use.

Cooking & Filtration

As with all other items, the smaller and more compact, the better.

Tools

Electronics

Misc

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